Drinks trends/predictions – 2017

Who knew what 2016 would have to offer? We’ve had the gin boom, the coffee boom, the Japanese whisky boom – but what are the hot new drinks trends and predictions going into 2017?  We’ve been chatting to some of our staff, suppliers and customers to get an insight into what they see as the Drinks trends/predictions going into 2017.

Just the tonic!

T but without the G!!

After a huge swell in the popularity of the gin scene, it’s time for tonic to come out of the bottom of the fridge/back of the cupboard and stand on its own two feet, but it won’t be doing it alone. Are you all ginned out? The gin boom has spurred tonic along! Fever Tree is predicted a spectacular 77% growth, and the doubling of tonic sales across the on-trade and online.  We are seeing the vodka & red bull consumer become more mature and seeking the less sweet option. Bartenders are increasingly looking for more interesting and different things to do and go with tonic.

As a result, tonic is now teaming up with whisky, sherry (a drop of Pedro Ximenez sherry is extremely nice!!),  rum, tequila and mezcal.

Craft cider

Where craft beer leads, cider is sure to follow (with whackier fruit mixes first!). Watch out for the same phenomenon happening for all the same reasons.  It’s the natural next step for the drink.  Want a peak into the future? Have a look at what our neighbours at Hogans have planned for the new year.


Yeah yeah we know this isn’t exactly a ‘new trend/prediction” but keep reading to see how the much loved cocktail is looking to evolve!

Pre Mixed Cocktails

It was only a matter of time before this cocktail trend came back. Now, we’re not talking about shop bought margherita mix here, but high quality, ready to go batch made classics.  Lets face it, maintaining consistency when serving large quantities of cocktails can be fairly tricky.  Training bartenders is mighty expensive; the length of time for each serve can be horrific, especially on peak session.  We have seen a few pass through our doors but the best by far is our brochure front page feature from Tails.  View the range

But take it from us they are pretty dam good and really do make serving cocktails a breeze!

Pisco cocktails

You may have heard of a Pisco Sour, but the growing pisco movement ranges far afield. Pisco, for those who’ve never tried it, is a white spirit that’s made in the grape-growing regions of Peru and Chile. Some call it a brandy, although you’re not likely to drink it straight up. Pisco these days is the base liquor for many different drinks.

Have a look at our Pisco selection here

Beer cocktails

You won’t have an availability problem with drinks made with a beer base. One of the most basic is a shandy, whilst in America our our Ops manager Lee noticed a ‘Summer Shandy’ which ticked a number of boxes!! It’s essentially a weiss beer or pale ale mixed with lemonade.

Moving beyond shandy, you may want to check out one of these beer cocktail recipes that were featured at a seminar called The Perfectly Poured Beer Cocktail at Tales last week. Its a decent read and gives a step by step guide of how to create a perfect beers cocktail.

If you decide to make your own beer cocktails, try not to use more than 100ml beer. Stir for maximum flavor, shake if you want lots of foam. And, experiment with the spirits you mix with beer, as well as the beers you mix with different spirits. We have listed a few that we think work.. (its a tough job!)

  • Lager: Genever, white rum, blanco tequila, Old Tom, cachaca, pisco, mezcal, Grand Marnier
  • Dark Ales: Bourbon, dark rum, Vs cognac, St. Germain, mezcal, blanco tequila, white rum
  • Farmhouse Ale: Cognac, aged rum, tequila, gin, Tennessee whisky, Old Tom, cachaca, pisco, Compari, orange liqueurs, cherry liqueurs
  • IPAs: Pisco, amari, mezcal, blanco tequila, Old Tom, orange liqueurs, cherry liqueurs, Campari
  • Pilsner: Genever, gin, Old Tom, mezcal, Tennessee whisky, orange liqueurs, cherry liqueurs, Campari
  • Sour Beers: Sweet vermouth, gin, blanco, tequila, elderflower
  • Stouts: Rye whiskey, bourbon, aged rum, brandy, Grand Marnier, Old Tom, cherry liqueurs, mezcal
  • Witbier: Gin, blanco tequila, white run, Cognac, Old Tom, Genever, pisco, Tennessee whisky, Campari, orange liqueurs.



Unfortunately we are already seeing prices [from producers] go up, and it is forecasted that it will be going up by around 7%

However, the upside is that home-grown products that won’t incur this kind of increase are well-positioned to benefit hugely from the Brex-IN effect – both within the UK and at export.

However our Chairman Dennis Hall adds a very important caveat “To take advantage of such an uncertain ‘Brexit’ outcome largely relies on producers being savvy enough to maximize their advantage and not mirror the increased prices of their European counter-parts” 

“There are lots of quality products – and they are going after certain styles and making them their own,” he said, pointing to the guys at The Cotswold Distillery and the well-documented rise and rise of English Sparkling wine from the likes of Lyme Bay Wines & Chapel Down Winery.

“All these people are doing this with confidence and it will be very interesting [to see it develop],” he said.

Move over Japan

The phenomenal rise of Japanese whisky took the category by storm and would be too easy to keep in 2017 predictions but as globally sales have gone “ballistic” means with the high demand, shrinking stocks, product shortfall and increasing prices, the search is on for the next big producer. Although Indian whisky is promising, Singh our money is on Taiwan as the likely contender.

So far, Taiwan has two distilleries – one is state-owned and has released one whisky so far, the other is Ka-va-lan, which opened in 2006 and is not only set to reach its full 4,500m L capacity this year, but is set to double in size in the next six months with the addition of nine new pot stills.

One of Taiwan’s benefits is its cool temperature and high humidity, which helps age whiskies fast, meaning that a 3-4 year old aged whisky from Taiwan is roughly equivalent of a 12-15 year old whisky in Scotland. This gives the nation a distinct advantage when it comes to scaling up production and meeting demand,  Ka-va-lan in particular has shown itself keen to experiment with different wood and even imported peat, to produce a broad range of different whisky expressions.

We currently have the Ka-val-lan Single Malt available for – £56.36 + VAT – Contact us if you think this is something you like the sound of.

Coffee cocktails

Coffee and alcohol seem to be natural partners so seemed an obvious inclusion for a 2017 prediction — think Irish Coffee, or Kahlua and coffee.  But modern coffee cocktails go beyond simply adding a jigger of booze to a cup of coffee.  Now that coffee brewing has become an art form, it’s only natural that artisanal coffees are being turned into artisanal cocktails.

It makes perfect sense, since in many restaurants, bartenders also are in charge of making espresso drinks, and it’s a good use for coffee that otherwise would be served over ice. One popular recipe is the Beccacino, by bartending icon Murray Stenson. He told Imbibe magazine that the Beccacino is an old Seattle bar recipe, combining brandy, Benedictine, amaretto, Irish Mist and cold-brewed coffee. (Most likely, the old-timers just used plain old cold coffee.)

If you’re interested in experimenting, check out this list of Tales of the Cocktail’s 2016 award-winning bars and bartenders worldwide.

Not so ‘Hot’ off the press!

One of the products we’ve seen sell well over the Christmas period is the emergence of cold-brew or cold pressed coffee liqueurs.  our favourite is Mr Black that launched in December 2015. The trend comes of the back of the increasingly craft-ification of the coffee scene, where the coffee cognoscenti are seeking out small-batch, on-the-spot roasted cold-brew coffee.

Paul Wilkins our Purchasing Director says “Mr Blacks ticks the boxes for provenance, authenticity and quality, and its “good ethos is combined with great packaging”.

It uses around 30kg of coffee beans to produce 250 bottle, in an industry where everyone else is using essences and making sugar-heavy products,” he says. “So you can taste the coffee and though it is sweet, it’s not sickly because it has a less harsh extraction process.